It never fails. Every time I bring up the concept of having a “vision for violence” in my Krav Maga classes, I get some pretty confused looks.

And it’s no doubt, the idea is (on its face) foreign and even uncomfortable to consider. But I’m not referring to a vision for how violence may unfold, capturing my students in a whirlwind of danger (although that is important to consider in training).

What I’m referring to is a vision for how powerfully and violently each student can launch a response to danger in a self-defense situation. This is a specific type of awareness about one’s capacity and the quality of response needed to defeat danger. Moreover, when training in responsiveness to danger in a self-defense context, what kind of intention is most powerfully linked to a productive vision for violence (that ultimately creates the circumstances where the defender can escape or take safe control of a violent encounter)?

Finally, if you follow the mindset I’m describing, you will see that the process can be defined as – Vision, Awareness, Intention, & Management. Thus, if you have a vision for violence (to defeat an attacker), an awareness of what is required to create safety, and an intention to bring to bear what is required – you have the mindset to manage both your training and ultimately your response to violence. So, the next time you step onto the mats, ask yourself – do I have a vision for violence? Without it, your response to violence will likely be highly sub-optimal. With it, your training will take on a whole new level of intention and awareness.

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